Mangalore: Citizen paves way for energy Sustenance by Innovating on Biogas Unit

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By John V Tauro
Bellevision Media Network

Mangalore, 20 July 2013: Garbage disposal is a major challenge to economies worldwide, while the developing economies find it difficult to manage mounting heap of garbage that is generated daily.  It not only causes air pollution in the cities and towns and poses health hazard on the city-folks.

The garbage dumped in the bins on roadsides across the limits of Mangalore city is collected by civic workers often with bare hands and being transported by civic contractor to the dump yard at Pacchanady, near Vamanjoor, here.  The garbage is sorted on the basis of metal, plastic, degenerative stuff.  The biodegradable material is dumped in the landfill and often scavenged by vultures that are found hovering around the dump yard, if one passes by Vamanjoor stretch of Mangalore – Moodbidri national highway. 

Meanwhile, in order to augment the use of garbage to generate biogas, Cyril Fernandes, who worked in Doha municipal garbage disposal unit for over a decade, now resides at ward number 34 of Shivabagh here, has installed a plant at his household which meets greater volume of his energy needs. 

Cyril is an electronics diploma holder, bought a kerosene-fed power generator for Rs 35,000.  Then, he got a high-pressure gas kit, converted it into a low-pressure one, and fixed it to the generator.  It worked.  He would use petrol only to start the 2 kilowatts generator and quickly switch over to biogas. 


















Since the power generated was 210 volts, he had to install a stabilizer.  The gas kit cost him Rs 3,500 and the stabilizer Rs 2,500.
‘I can even use computer, television and fans, light fittings with this energy source,’ said Cyril.  He suggested the municipal council or some government body could set up a Committee to see how power could be generated using biodegradable waste on a large scale.
Cyril offered to part with all the information that he has at his disposal.  He collects garbage from door-to-door driving his mini goods vehicle in Shivabagh and Kadri localities, twice a day and gets it segregated from his workers at his premises.  After segregation, the biodegradable waste is collected in a bucket everyday.  He leaves it to ferment for about 3 days.  Now, the potent stuff with the micro organisms multiplied is ready to produce biogas.

He pours it into the small opening of one of his 4 floating drum-type biogas plants, made from plastic tanks.  Within a couple of hours, the floating drum gets filled with gas.

The gas stove in his kitchen runs mostly from this gas.  Cyril has set up biogas units to augment gas supply to the kitchen at the girls’ hostel attached to St Agnes College, Bendore and Lourdes Central School, Bejai.






 The civic body wanted to encourage others to emulate Cyril and was trying to find sponsors for setting up biogas units. Meanwhile, the greater percentage of city population lives in independent houses with scope to make optimum use of household waste to convert it into biogas.  It would reduce dependence on rationed cooking gas.  It will also lessen the burden on other means of energy use.  If every household installs a biogas unit in the city; no doubt it would make national news for finding people’s initiative in self sustenance on energy sources.




Comments on this Article
Gichard Romes, Mangalore Thu, September-5-2013, 5:17
Is there any way to contact this visionary man, either by email or phone? Any contact detail would be welcome.
Varghese, Mangalore Tue, July-23-2013, 10:41
good to see few people are innovative and care for mother nature. even i have bio gas unit at home bought from Mangalore and using it for quite sometime now for cooking purpose. This has defenitely helped me to reduce usage of my LPG. Biogas defenitely is practical solution to manage waste at home and get some benfit in return. govt can probably do more in providing awareness however i am not a fan of subsidy which opens for more corruption than good to society
John B. Monteiro, Bondel, Mangalore Mon, July-22-2013, 9:08
Thank you Mr. John Tauro for highlighting the good work of Mr. Cyril fernandes. Your pictorial coverage is excellent, comprehensive and educative. Mr. Fernandes deserves to be recognised by many of our award-givers. I endorse the views of Mr. Philip Mudartha and Oswald
Oswald, Bendur Parish Mon, July-22-2013, 3:22

I am proud that Mr. Cyril is from my ward and a close friend of mine.A very hard working gentleman.I have seen his bio-gas unit at his residence.What i feel that a separate place should be given to him by develop in a bigger way.First of all Government should recognize it and certify it.I wish him the very best.

Lancy serrao, Valencia ward Sun, July-21-2013, 8:34

Very good work by Cyril. During my tenure as corporator of MCC i too recommended similar work in different wards but nothing materialized. Any way Cyril, your good initiative will bear fruit. keep it up. Lancy serao ex-corporator and finance chairman of MCC.

Roy, Mangalore Sun, July-21-2013, 6:33

Good work Mr.Cyril and team belle.

Philip Mudartha, Mumbai Sat, July-20-2013, 11:24
Firstly, I strongly endorse such positive journalism. Secondly, I like to mention that a certain engineer designed, installed and operated a gober gas plant at Padubelle some forty years ago. His attempts to commercialize his design did not meet success. I see isolated installations by rural households, particularly by politically active and connected to know the government subsidy ones. 3. The major reason that bio-gas and electricity generation schemes fail is the flawed energy policy of any state government. In its eagerness to have farmers on their side, free power is available to pumps. Farmers connect such power to their all electricity homes (AEH) for a pittance and pay next to nothing. This free electricity policy should change if such alternative energy solutions to become commercially viable. In this example, the investment in basic installation has an annual finance cost (interest, depreciation and fixed maintenance) of about Rs 900 a month. Where is the motivation if government provides energy at throw away prices? 4. For smaller towns like Mangalore and Udupi, town gas projects owned by the CMC and operated through outsourced contractors is a feasibility.
Joseph Serrao, Bengaluru Sat, July-20-2013, 10:01

Cyril you are doing very good work keep it up people will realize one day or the other diffidently your work bare fruit. Thank u belle vision team .

Robert D Costa, Mangalore Sat, July-20-2013, 1:45
Kudos to Cyril for his innovations that is worthy to emulate for self sustenance of energy source.
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